Given the current dire economic picture we thought we’d list a few ways folks can save some cash while making the planet a little greener.
- Replace those incandescent bulbs with energy efficient CFLs. The price of compact fluorescent bulbs has dropped (I just picked up a 7-pack of 60 watt CFL’s for about $8 at Lowes) and they can last up to 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs and save you over $30 in electricity over the lifetime of the bulb.
- Manage the fuel consumption of your home by buying programmable thermostats that can be set to lower your heat when you’re not home or in rooms you’re not using on a schedule you control.
- TVs, computers and many appliances and gadgets sip power even when off (vampire power). Plug your home entertainment doodads and computer and peripherals into a power strip or Smart Power Strip that can shut them down when not in use. You’ll be surprised how much it will save you on your electric bill…and turn off those lights when you leave a room. Oh, if you’re upgrading those appliances get Energy Star rated items.
- Purchase larger containers of household cleansers (green ones of course) and things like liquid soap and re-use the individual dispensers. You’ll save money at the cash register and keep a bunch of plastic containers out of the landfill.
- Get an under-counter or faucet mounted water filtration system and stop buying bottled water. At over $1 per gallon a family of 4 can go through several gallons of bottled water per week. A home water filtration system will pay for itself in no time, and keep all those plastic bottles out of the landfill and your recycling bin.
- Drive that car green. Avoid quick acceleration, tail-gating and constant braking to save gas – and use that cruise control. You’ll be surprised how your mpg will increase if you drive a steady 65 or 70mph on the highway instead of your cop-dodging 80mph.
- Ride a bike or walk instead of using that gas guzzler. You’ll lose some inches off your personal equator while saving on gas and emissions.
- Use reusable kitchen towels, dishrags, cloth napkins and handkerchiefs. All those paper products cost you cash and destroy our forests.
- If you’ve got a yard, spare room or basement use it. Try putting up a clothes line and air drying those threads. Big appliances like washers and dryers add a big chunk to your electric bill. Most power companies have lower rates off-hours so do that wash while you’re watching the Colbert Report and John Stewart.
- Go DIY. Do it Yourself is always a money saver. Get a compost going to create your own rich soil for your garden. Get a rain barrel and save the water that runs-off your roof. Grow your own veggies. Use old blankets or shirts to create a “Memory Blanket.”
There are lots more ways to go green, reduce/reuse/recycle/upcycle and be sustainable. Chime in with your personal tips.
Related: previously on altCon –
Save Money, Save Water – Harvest Rainwater